12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, Michigan (269) 244-5690

Monthly Archive: August 2012

Yes!! We have apple cider!!

We were successful today in making our first pressing of fresh apple cider for 2012.  We used a  blend of JonaMac, Cortland, Gala, Molly’s Delicious, Earliblaze and Honeycrisp.   Our great cider making crew gave me the first cup off the press, I shared it with my Dad and we were both delighted with the taste and gave it high marks!  We will have it available for sale until this batch runs out.  We will probably not press cider again until the following weekend given the apple shortage this year.  So, always best to call ahead to make sure we have it before you drive out.  269-244-5690.

Quick apple update:  We are currently sold out of Cortland bushels and plan to pick more next week sometime,  when more are ready.  Also, we have already picked about half of our Honeycrisp crop and have only a few bags left to sell this weekend.  We have just a few pecks left of Macintosh and Molly’s Delicious and they will be gone for the year.  Then we will be out until trees in another orchard ripen.  Given the small crop of apples we have, please call ahead to make sure we have what you want.  269-244-5690.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Update on grapes, apples and Labor Day weekend

Thanks to everyone that has inquired as to whether everything is okay here at Corey Lake Orchards because we didn’t sent out an email last week!!  Everything is fine, we didn’t have many updates and we are busy preparing for our fall harvests as you will see below.   Thanks for the feedback that you missed hearing from us!

Labor Day is a transition for many as schools restart, summer cottage weekends become fewer and usually (but not this year!) cooler weather begins…..at the orchard it means the end of summer vegetables and our market beginning to fill up with apples, winter squash, grapes, winter pears, mums and even pumpkins are ready!  Due to the weather extremes this year, you will find our market this weekend overflowing with fresh produce as we still have all the summer vegetables but our fall apple harvest has already begun.     This is the last weekend we will have sweet corn for the year.

Apple Cider:  With the apples being early, we are hoping to make cider for Labor Day weekend, a first for us to have it so early!!

Baked Goods:  Labor Day weekend will be the last weekend for bread, cinnamon rolls, and apple pie.  Our bakers are transitioning into their fall baking so they can make their famous apple dumplings.  Also, instead of berry peachy pie, they will be bringing back strawberry rhubarb pie.  Baked goods will be available Friday through Monday (9-3) this weekend due to the holiday.   If you want to make sure to get the pie of your choice, feel free to call ahead and place an order, 269-244-5690.  This will be especially helpful if you want to pick up baked goods for Monday.

U-Pick grapes:

  1. We will officially open for picking both White Niagara and Blue Concords on Sunday, September 9th.
  2. Picking hours:  Our picking hours are 8 am to 7 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 7.
  3. Pricing:  They are 25 cents/pound to pick or if you pick over 100 pounds, they are 20 cents/pound.    A 5 gallon pail, filled to the top weighs approximately 20 pounds.  If you pick over 100 pounds of grapes, that is $4 a pail, (20 cents lb)  if you pick less than 100 pounds, it is $5 (25 cents lb).  A 5 gallon pail is also equivalent to a half bushel.
  4. When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:
  • Five gallon plastic pails to pick in, this is how we measure how much you pick instead of having to weigh them all.   If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in.  You can also purchase pails from us for $4.00.
  • Scissors or clippers to cut them with.
  • Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)
  • How is the crop and how long will the grapes last?   We have around 50 acres of grapes for U-Pick this year and hope they will last 2 – 3 weeks once we open.  That depends of course on the weather and how many customers we have.   We have many blocks of Concord available but fewer white Niagara.  We did suffer some frost damage (10 to 15%) and our picking will be about the same as it has been the last several years (so not a bumper crop but still good picking in most locations.)

Apple Update:  We still have the following varieties for sale in the market:

  • Honeycrisp
  • Gala
  • Jon-a-Mac
  • Molly’s Delicious

Today we picked these additional varieties and now have them for sale

  • JonaGold
  • Cortland
  • Nu-Red

Please note that apples are coming in earlier than we estimated due to the 90 degree days we have had and the ones coming up.  We will continue to update our estimate chart but please continue to check the website http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/apple-update-for-2012/for the latest information or call us a 269-244-5690.  We have a small crop of apples so they are going off the shelves quickly.  If you call us and we have the variety you want, we are happy to save them for you.

Dayton Hubbard and grandson Jay bringing in a load of apples from the orchard 8-28-12

On a personal note, this Labor Day will mark the 7th anniversary of the passing of my mother, Allene Hubbard, who along with my father, started and created this wonderful place called Corey Lake Orchards.    Her presence continues to be felt by the family, employees and our long-term loyal customers.  All of us here at Corey Lake Orchards strive daily to continue the legacy she started.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a good Labor Day weekend

 

Apple Update for 2012

We hope this information below will be helpful.  Please continue to check our website for the latest apple information, the chart you find at the end of this message will be kept updated.

Our goal this apple season is to satisfy as many customers as we can with fresh quality apples at a reasonable price.  That’s our goal, but it is a challenge.  Due to Michigan’s extreme spring weather, we don’t have a robust crop.

All apple varieties suffered from the frost.  Based on when each variety bloomed determined how extensive the damage was.   Thus, there are some varieties where we don’t have any apples on the tree (Northern Spies) to some varieties with 25 to 75% percent of our normal crop.  Some of the apples have scars, marks or are misshapen from where the frost touched the apple.    You will find some of these in your bags, they only are on the skin and do not affect the apple.  The worst of these apples will be sorted out and used in cider, brandy and pies!

An example of frost damage to one of our apple trees, the frost hit every part of the tree except for one branch.

Sadly we will not be able to offer U-Pick due to the smaller apple crop.  We know this is a favorite for many customers and we are sorry it isn’t possible this year.

We apologize, but we cannot take advance orders.    Until the apples are picked, sorted, and safely out of storms, we simply don’t know how many we will have.    However, if we have what you want in the market when you call, we are happy to save it for you to pick up.  We appreciate your understanding of this.

When each apple variety is available on the market, we will send that information out in an email and post it on our website.  You can also call us at 269-244-5690.

Below is a list of what apples we will have, when we think they will be ready and whether we will have enough to sell by the bushel.    Note, this is our best guess, we know all too well from this year how much the weather could change this.  We will be happy to help you when you call or stop at the market to recommend other apples you can try in place of ones we don’t have this year.    Who knows, you might learn to like a different apple better than one you have loved for years!!

On a personal note, when I walk through the apple orchards this year, it is hard to believe that just last year we had so many Red Delicious apples we sold them at roll-back pricing of $5 a bushel—bag your own!  That was a lot of fun and we hope to do things like that again in future years.

We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope you will be loyal in both years of bumper crops and years like 2012, a year of challenge.  Let’s all hope for a better 2013.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

Variety Ripening estimate Bushel Availability* Good Substitute
Braeburn Gone for the year No No good substitute
Cameo Ready now Yes
Cortland Gone for the year
Earli Blaze Gone for the year
Fuji Ready Now Yes
Gala Gone for the year
Golden Delicious Ready now Out of bushels
Golden Supreme Ready now No Golden Delicious
Honey Crisp Ready now No No good substitute
Ida Red Gone for the year No good substitute
Jona Mac Gone for the year
JonaGold Gone for the Year
Jonathon Gone for the Year
Macintosh Gone for the Year
Molly’s Del Gone for the Year No good substitute
Mutsu Gone for the year
Northern Spy None available None Cortland
Nu-Red Gone for the year No good substitute
Pink Lady Ready now Yes No good substitute
Red Delicious Ready Now Yes
Rome Ready Now Yes
*No bushels, available by the peck and possibly some half bushels

Middle of August Update

Wow, the middle of August already and it feels like fall is here.   Certainly the weather makes it seem that way, but the slowing down of summer crops and fall crops beginning is just another reminder of how early everything is this year.  We can already smell the grapes ripening on the vine, which is about 3 weeks early.  So bottom line is you need to enjoy the summer vegetables as they begin to wind down.  We still have sweet corn, green beans, peppers, onions, red potatoes, eggplant and summer squash. 

Summer Fruit:  We will have peaches for only about one more week in small quantities only. (1 and 2-quart boxes.)   The variety we are picking now is Flamin’ Fury.  We might get a few very late peaches around Labor Day, but we don’t know if we can get them before the deer and raccoons have their fill.    We are still bringing in cantaloupe daily and now have lots of watermelon coming in.

Last chance to get Bartlett Pears.  We have picked all of the Bartlett Pears for the year.  If you would like some, please call us at 269-244-5690 to reserve them.  They are $36 a bushel this year due to only having 10% of a crop.  The pears are very nice this year.

Stanley Prune Plums.  We hope to pick our plums this weekend, again we have very few of these due to the spring freeze but will have them available in 1 quart, 2 quart and pecks (1/4 of a bushel).

Fall Apples:  We started picking our fall apples today.   We have Gala and JonaMac available in small eating quantities as well as bushels.   Both of these apples are good for eating or cooking.  Come try a sample of each.  Also, since we will only have a few Macintosh apples this year (no bushels) both the Gala and JonaMac would be close replacements for a Macintosh, especially for applesauce.  We also picked a few of our early Honeycrisp trees and have these available in half-pecks.    We are in the process of putting together a 2012 apple update which will let you know what kind of apples we expect to have, approximately when they will be ready and other information.  This will be available on our website and we will have copies in the market.

U-Pick Tomatoes:  We still have plenty of tomatoes for you to pick at $14 a bushel.  Everyone who has picked so far has been very pleased, the picking is very good right now and takes about 10 minutes to fill up a bushel.    If you need your tomatoes to be picked, please call the market at 269-244-5690, we are taking orders for 1st quality bushels and “2nds”.

Brandy Availability:  Our brandy sales this year has depleted our stock and we are currently out of apple, pear and peach brandy.  We hope to make all 3 of these yet this year.   So we currently only have cherry and grape brandy on hand.

Baked Goods:  We will have baked goods Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  All of the usual cookies, pies, cinnamon rolls and bread.

Welcome to the Three Rivers Triathlon/Duathlon participants, friends, family and supporters.    We wish you luck on the race and hope you enjoy eating all of our fresh produce that we have made available for you after the race.    We’d love to have you stop by on your way home to pick up some.   We feel like every day is a triathlon here on the farm.  So we welcome you to participate in our own triathlon.

  • Event 1:  Pick up 2 of our jumbo long-striped watermelon (weighs approximately 25 pounds each) from the field, put one under each arm, note they will be wet and muddy, run them over to the waiting tractor and wagon (1/4th mile away).  Please note that field will be muddy, with uneven surfaces and field rock obstacles to get around.
  • Event 2:  Carry wooden crates of fresh dug potatoes (approximately 65 pounds) from the field, to the waiting truck, approximately 1/8th of a mile away.  Caution again on mud, uneven surfaces and rocks.
  • Event 3:  Help us carry in large mesh corn bags from the truck to our cooler.  Each bag holds 5 dozen and weighs 50 pounds.  We expect you to carry 2 at a time, just like several of our workers can!!  Surface will be flat cement (yeah!) and when you get into the cooler, it will be 50 degrees, we can cool you right down!

As always thank for buying local and have a great weekend!

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

U-Pick tomatoes and Bartlett pears are ready!

We have opened the U-Pick tomato field.  We initially thought we would have to schedule customers in to pick, but so far there are plenty of tomatoes.  So you do not need to call to schedule.  Come get your tomatoes anytime, check in at the market for directions.  We would recommend you call the market first just to make sure we have the field open.  (269-244-5690) We will close the field if it gets picked out and more need to ripen.  The picking is very good right now.  They are $14 a bushel to pick.  Please bring your own containers to put them in (boxes, tubs, buckets) and we can loan you baskets to pick in.  Right now we anticipate closing the field for one day on Tuesday August 14th.

Bartlett Pears are now being picked.  We only have about 10% of our crop and will pick them all this coming week.  If you have not called us to reserve your bushels for canning, please call us at 269-244-5690.  Pears are $36.00 a bushel this year due to the spring frost and freeze.

Bartlett pears picked on 8-12-12

Potatoes by the bushel.  We currently have potatoes by the bushel for those who like to can potatoes.  Please call in advance to reserve them, $25.00.  269-244-5690.

What a busy, busy weekend we had.   If you were one of the many customers out this weekend, you found the market full of produce and customers!   As many of you found out the hard way, we sold out of pies early each day.  I like to think the pies are so good because there is Corey Lake Orchard’s fruit inside of them, others think it is the crust.  Clearly,  the crust and the fruit combination makes them so popular.  So sorry to those who did not get a pie.  We only have baked goods on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but we do take advance orders for them if you want to be sure to get the pie, cookies or bread of your choice.  If you are buying a lot of pies, like over 3, it really helps us if you can call ahead and reserve them so they can bake extras.

Despite the rainy cool start to the weekend, it turned out beautiful and we enjoyed all the customers who came out.  The cool weather and rain has really helped refresh the crops.

Thanks as always for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards